New approach might strike at the core of Alzheimer’s disease | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

New approach might strike at the core of Alzheimer’s disease

Compound could slow amyloid beta production

By
9:56am, April 25, 2008

By finding a way to stick an enzyme-inhibiting molecule to the membrane of a cell, scientists may have devised the framework for an Alzheimer’s drug.

Researchers discovered the enzyme beta-secretase in 1999. Identifying it opened up a new line of attack against Alzheimer’s because beta-secretase makes a peptide implicated in the disease. Just as detectives sometimes put the squeeze on small-time crooks in hopes of weakening a crime ring, researchers reasoned that inhibiting beta-secretase could neutralize the real Alzheimer’s suspect — the peptide known as amyloid beta.

But it hasn’t been easy. While scientists have made many beta-secretase inhibitors, the free-floating compounds haven’t knocked down amyloid beta production consistently.

A research team in Germany has now synthesized a compound that anchors a beta-secretase inhibitor to the membrane of a cell using a sterol molecule. With nowhere to roam,

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content